19 JANUARY 2015


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A321 Transatlantic

Long seen as a possible successor to the ubiquitous Boeing 757 for thin long haul routes, Airbus has launched the A321neo with true transatlantic capability.

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Flight data recorders

Airbus has begun talks with the European regulator European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on proposals to make ejectable flight data recorders available on its two largest models, the A380 and the new A350, potentially making them the first commercial planes to use the technology.

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John Weinthal

Once the unshakable spokesman for the British car industry in the glory days of the original Mini at the London Victoria based SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) as PR Director, John Weinthal (74) has passed away.

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NATS launches apprentice scheme

Air traffic control company NATS is hoping to say “you’re hired” to the next generation of engineering talent as it opens its first ever apprenticeship scheme.

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COMMENT: The 80mph speed limit

On the 22 December 1965 a four-month trial of a 70mph speed limit on 100,000 miles of previously unrestricted roads and motorways was introduced in the United Kingdom.  The result was inconclusive but the Minister of Transport at the time, Barbara Castle, who did not drive herself, deemed it a success, and it has remained the maximum speed one can legally drive ever since.

In 1965 you needed the wind behind you, and perhaps a slight downhill run, for an 850 Mini (Austin or Morris) to top 70mph.  The soon to be introduced Ford Escort was slightly quicker than the British Motor Corporation (BMC) car, also having drum brakes all round.  Its handling, particularly in the wet, was at the best indifferent.  Who had ever heard of seat belts?

Drive a mass produced 1960s car today and you will find that it takes for ages to pick up speed, feels unstable flat out, and does not stop very quickly.

The cars of the 21st century are much safer, quicker, and have far better controlled deceleration.  All round they are greatly superior with air bags, electronic stability, impact protection, four-wheel disc brakes and much improved all-weather tyres.

Only one thing has not changed – the 70mph maximum speed allowed on motorways and unrestricted dual carriageway roads.

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Toulouse price list

Inflation may have dropped to 0.05% in the UK but that has not stopped Airbus putting up its list prices.  Of course no airline actually pays the figures quoted below but if you were to buy say 10 of any product you would expect a discount.  In any event Airbus is headquartered in Toulouse (France) where the EU is these days somewhat expensive against the American currency.

Up goes the average list price by 3.27% across the product line.  The new pricing is effective from 1 January 2015.  The increase has been calculated according to the manufacturer's standard escalation formula over the January 2014 to January 2015 period, and enables Airbus to continue to enhance its profitability.

Airbus Average List Price

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A380s and Manchester

Emirates has announced it will introduce an Airbus A380 on a second of its three daily rotations between Dubai and Manchester from the start of next month as it continues to grow capacity in the UK market.  The new deployment will be made possible by the switch of an A380 currently operating a second of its three daily flights between Dubai and Rome, which will revert to being operated a Boeing 777-300ER from the start of February.

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Airbus deliveries

Boeing may have got in first with its 2014 deliveries announcement last week (See BTN 12 January) but Airbus has also exceeded its targets for 2014, achieving a new record of 629 aircraft deliveries to 89 customers of which eight are new, comprising 490 A320 Family aircraft, 108 A330s, 30 A380s and the first A350 XWB.

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British airports busy year

As predicted by  BTN  last week (see Luton Airport record year) Britain’s airports have been quick to announce their passenger throughputs in 2014.

For most an annual record has been set.

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Cyprus Airways aftermath

Aegean has quickly stepped in to pick up the business previously with Cyprus Airways, after its major shareholder, the Cyprus Government, decided to allow the carrier to go bankrupt. (See BTN 12 January  Cyprus Airways grounded

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Ryanair wi-fi?

Having aborted previous plans to offer wi-fi Ryanair plans to trial in-flight entertainment and possibly wi-fi on some flights this year in its latest attempt to attract business flyers and families who were turned off in the past by its basic service.

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ON TOUR: A350 XWB – First impressions

Last Thursday (15 January) Qatar Airways introduced the Airbus A350-900 XWB into scheduled airline service with the return flight from Doha to Frankfurt.  When a second aircraft is delivered in March both the airline’s daily flights on the route will be by A350.

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From a subscriber.

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Aberdeen good news

Whilst due to falling oil prices the outlook for Aberdeen is gloomy, a major low-cost carrier, and one of the world’s leading hotel companies continues to expand and seek business.

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CityJet growth strategy

Once part of Air France and now independent since last May (see BTN 5 May 2014) Dublin-based CityJet has completed a refinancing programme which places it in a strong position to fund its restructuring and growth strategy.

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Delta at JFK

Now open at New York’s Kennedy Airport is the Concourse B extension in Terminal 4 (T4), the JFK home of Delta Air Lines.

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Eastern comeback

One of the great names of 20th century aviation is about to make a comeback, Eastern Air Lines. 

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Helsinki Airport train station

The long-awaited train connection to Helsinki Airport will open this summer when the Ring Rail Line opens.  It is considered one of the most important service improvements at the airport during the past 15 years.

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High speed BA

Passengers on board BA flight 114 from New York – John F. Kennedy International Airport to Heathrow last week were probably left waiting to be collected after their flight arrived about an hour and a half ahead of schedule.

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Leonardo Hotels expands in Munich

Israeli hotel group Leonardo has acquired two more hotels in Munich taking its total properties in the Bavarian capital to eight.

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Lufthansa strike

The German pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) has said that it is likely to call for further strikes at Lufthansa as a long-running row continues.

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Transatlantic Business Class only

It has not proved successful in the past but La Compagnie, a French operator, plans to introduce New York Newark to London business class flights in the spring.  It has been operating a similar service from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Newark since July 2014.  The company says it will announce its choice of airports shortly and bookings will open at that time.

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Travel Coffee Break

Hosted by radio journalist Alastair McKenzie, the weekly Travel Coffee Break is a chance for travel writers, travel PRs, destination marketing and travel industry folk to gather and chat about what is happening in travel and tourism.

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